I'm going to be blunt about this because white washing the issue would not serve you. As a retired field trial pro, one of the lessons I learned was that if you want to win a Derby, prepare your dog so that he's doing solid Qualifying work before wasting entry fees on a Derby. If you want to win a Qual, get him working solidly on Open-level work, and so on.Looking for all opinions on Force Fetching and methods used.
...I plan to pursue hunting titles and dabble in Field Trials, at least at the Derby and Qualifer level. I don’t have asperations of a AFC titles. Derby JAMs or a QAA sometime in his life would be considered a huge success. All of this is more for the fun of it and to supplement training, not to earn titles or ribbons.
My own patented saying that I repeat at every seminar I give is to "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do underwhelms him, not overwhelms him." Take this to the bank! Field trial judges know how to overwhelm competition dogs, and I mean good ones! If it were easy, where would the honor be in it? That's why it's so special to win those events! Go the distance.
The "wait and see" advice usually comes from people who don't understand the real goals and purposes of force fetch. It's not just something trainers do to fix a problem. It's a fundamental building block in virtually all modern methods, and is the core of momentum.I’ve been told by well respected trainers that force fetching is a must and others have told me to take a “wait and see” approach.
Again, being frank here, what it means to be a pro is that you take money for it. Being a pro doesn't necessarily mean you're good at it. I know, that sounds pretty harsh. But...been there, done that.What sparked this thread was a comment that "Hotel4Dogs" made in a different post, saying a professional trainer recommended NOT force fetching her GR. I'm really curious to find out the reasons he gave you.
You've stated high goals for your pup. My hat's off to you. I respect and admire you for setting good goals for your dog. The last year I ran the circuit I put 5 dogs on the National Derby list, all of which were QAA as Derby dogs. Do it all. Do your best. Give your pup all the skills. He has a big job to do, and both of you should have a great time doing it! Doing it with less than the best tools is like someone asking you to build a bridge with a chisel.
Also looking for opinions from others that have gone through this. I've seen enough Labs and CB Retrievers work and can see how some of them would require it, or even a hard headed Golden, but I'm thinking a wait and see approach may be best. Goldens can be a little different than the other retrievers. Your thoughts?
My boy, "Moose"
I've owned about 80% Labs, 20% Goldens as my personal dogs. I've trained dogs of every retriever breed. I force fetched every one of them; the full course. I recommend it for all dogs that will be trained to perform high level fieldwork.
But, I will stipulate that you should study this skill set well. Learn to understand how it's done, and what are the goals and purposes of it. My system is very detailed, and I've fielded so many questions on this subject over the years that I wrote a book entirely devoted to it called SmartFetch. I subsequently made a 2 disc, 2 hour & 18 minute DVD of the same name. It's surely up to you which program you follow. But follow one fully. You'll always be glad you did. You will always regret it if you don't.
Best of luck. Please let me know if I can be of help.